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‘Things I think’ about the Giants as the season winds down

Eli Manning, Dave Gettleman, Pat Shurmur, more

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NFL: New York Giants at Chicago Bears
Kaden Smith
Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

It’s an off day for your New York Giants as we head toward the final two games of the season. Here are a few things I’m thinking about today.

A note about Eli Manning

Sunday was the perfect ending to his Giants’ playing career for Eli Manning — if it was the ending. To be honest, I hope it was.

We know Manning might have to play again if Daniel Jones’ high ankle sprain isn’t adequately healed. I hope that isn’t the case.

There is nothing to gain, for Manning or the Giants, by him playing again. Jones is the franchise’s guy and if he’s healthy enough he should play.

Oh, and I have seen people say Alex Tanney should play instead of Manning if Jones can’t go. Pat Shurmur is coaching for his job — he isn’t playing Tanney instead of Manning. Unless ownership demands it, and I doubt John Mara and Steve Tisch would do that.

Jackrabbit to the Saints

I think Janoris Jenkins was always going to wind up finishing this season with a playoff team. You had to know that the second the news broke on Friday that the Giants were waiving the veteran cornerback after last week’s inappropriate Twitter remark. No surprise at all that the New Orleans Saints, in need of an upgrade with ex-Giant Eli Apple apparently struggling, would grab Jenkins.

Just because this ends up working out well for Jenkins doesn’t mean the Giants made a mistake. In the position they were in and having to worry about sending the right message to a locker room filled with developing young players they absolutely did the right thing.

Buck Allen’s moment

Buck Allen had one carry for 4 yards in his first seven weeks with the Giants. He had eight for 28 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Allen enjoyed his moment, seriously upgrading the Giants’ celebration game.

Maybe Allen should have waited for a touchdown signal before running up the tunnel, but that doesn’t bother me the way the Golden Tate backpedal did. I think it was just nice to see the Giants have a little fun for a change.

Ron Rivera and Dave Gettleman

If Dave Gettleman remains as Giants’ GM there is a natural inclination to think Ron Rivera, who teamed successfully with Gettleman in Carolina, will be at the top of the list of coaching candidates if Pat Shurmur is removed.

Jay Glazer of The Athletic isn’t so sure, saying he “wouldn’t automatically connect those two.”

I do wonder what the nature of the Rivera-Gettleman relationship is. For what it’s worth, here is Rivera lauding Gettleman’s work when they were still together with the Panthers. The Gettleman stuff starts around the 9:00 mark.

About a couple of the young players

  • Watching Nick Gates play a couple of games this season there is a natural inclination to think Gates should get a shot at being the starting right tackle next season. I would be fine with him getting that opportunity. I wonder, though, if he could play center. I’ve talked to Gates and while center is the one spot he hasn’t played, he told me earlier in the year that he was working with Spencer Pulley to try and learn it. The Giants could use an upgrade from Jon Halapio at center, and I just wonder if Gates has a chance to provide it.
  • I’m more impressed by Kaden Smith each week. I think the rookie, acquired via waivers from the 49ers, is probably playing Rhett Ellison and his $7.188 million 2020 cap hit out of a job.

A thought about Pat Shurmur

I keep reading, and I probably have even written, the idea that winning some games here at the end of this lost Giants season could help Pat Shurmur build an argument to keep his job.

Maybe that is the case, but should it be?

I keep coming back to this question — what can we learn about Shurmur as a coach over the final three games including last season that we didn’t learn in his first 29 with the Giants? And if we do see anything different do we look at it as progress or just a guy pulling out all the stops to keep his job?

I guess my point is, I think Giants’ ownership already has all the information it needs to make a decision.